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Sarah's Personal Cruiser
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Date:  1-27-2018
Number of Hours:  20.00
Manual Reference:  N/A
Brief Description:  Canopy Redesign Pt 1

As I get ready to start some serious work and build the fuselage mockup my attention shifted to an item that is critical to the fuselage and that is the canopy. My thoughts are it is better to have the canopy on hand and design the fuselage to fit it rather than be faced with the potential of a lot of rework when I find they do not fit together.

I got in contact with Lance Logan who took over most of the assets of Todd's Canopies and discussed getting a canopy that will fit. That was a wise move as the first thing that came out was my original design was not practical without having an expensive mold in which to form it into. This has to be very accurate or the optics will be awful. The best way to make a canopy and get good optics is to make a blown one that is essential a big Plexiglas bubble formed with pressure using a base to get the desired width and contour. That however limits the height to half the width and my design was much too tall for that to work. So that puts that original profile out of consideration. That led to discussions about what existing design would make the best fit as that saves time and money.

So looking to what pre-existing canopy shape will work I started with Lances suggestion of the RV-8 or possibly the RV-3 and I added the RV-4 to the mix. None offer the width that I have designed for but they are flexible to be pulled out a few inches. The RV-8 had the best width to start with and the RV-4 had the best profile. To use any though the canopy has to switch to a P-51 style to work the way I want it to. So I started with the outline of the P-51 canopy and shrunk it down to my size to use as a guide. Placing the three candidates over that showed that the rear portion of an RV-8 fit the best and having the best width got it selected as the winner. So a bit of redesign and redrawing was initiated to adapt this new shape as well as start working of the canopy frame design. the results of the profile change is shown below.
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Original Canopy Design

Original Canopy Design

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New Canopy Design - Closed Position

New Canopy Design - Closed Position

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New Canopy Design - Open Position

New Canopy Design - Open Position

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